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President of India gives away the CII-ITC Sustainability Awards 2012

Jan 14, 2013

At a high-profile ceremony today at New Delhi, the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee gave away the CII-ITC sustainability awards to companies who have effectively combined sustainability with growth in India.

CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development announced India's most sustainable companies at a special presentation of the CII-ITC Sustainability Awards in New Delhi on January 14, 2013. Much more than a well-attended awards ceremony, this event is a manifestation of a larger goal – that of creating a mechanism for visibility of those corporate initiatives that are making genuine advances toward sustainability.

The CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development seeks to reward companies with a comprehensive sustainability strategy that are actively implementing initiatives that are creating real impact. Recognising the foresight of such companies, which are driving an agenda that goes beyond incremental change, will motivate others to act.

The Chief Guest for the event and presenting the awards was Pranab Mukherjee, President of India. The ceremony was attended by some of the most illustrious and distinguished CEOs who came to receive their awards. Addressing the audience, Pranab Mukherjee while lauding the achievements of the winning companies also observed the challenges that lie ahead saying, ‘Today, as a nation, in addition to the urgent requirement for fast-paced economic growth in challenging global circumstances, we face a multitude of challenges in the form of diverse aspects such as inclusive growth, poverty alleviation, mitigating environmental degradation, climate change, competition in international markets, escalating energy requirements, and many more’. He added that ‘Although commercial activity is an important force for nation building, we must not forget its two most vital pillars - the natural ecosystem, and the people who make up our society.'

In his opening remarks, YC Deveshwar, Past President, CII, Chairman, CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development Advisory Council and Chairman, ITC Limited, highlighted the importance and value of the Sustainability Award at  at a time when India faces challenges of resource constraint, environmental degradation growing population and poverty. He added that companies need to incorporate sustainability and inclusivity in their business practices.

Ajay Shriram, Vice-President, CII and Chairman & Senior Managing Director, DCM Shriram Consolidated Ltd spoke about how the industry is acknowledging the need to institute sustainability in their day-to-day thinking and how many companies are adopting an internal Corporate Sustainability Index whereby they are developing internal indices to assess the effectiveness of their initiatives. He added, the industry has also been working together with the community and its employees in preserving and protecting local biodiversity, restoring degraded areas and developing new ways for mitigating the impact of human activities.’

His address was followed by Suresh Prabhu, Chairman, Jury, CII-ITC Sustainability Awards, and Chairman, Council for Energy, Environment and Water, who said that these award represent today’s India and are ‘holistic as they capture not only environmental issues but also social and economic issue.’ The Awards were then given out by the President to the 25 winners.

Tata Steel Limited and Tata Chemicals Limited, Haldia, both received the Sustainability Prize, the second highest recognition, and the highest received this year.

Quoting American historian and educator Charles Kendall Adams, Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry, in his Vote of Thanks said, "No one ever attains very eminent success by simply doing what is required of him; it is the amount and excellence of what is over and above the required that determines the greatness of ultimate distinction." He emphasized that ‘the time has come when we ingrain the concept of sustainability within the very framework of business and transform the way our businesses function.’

The CII-ITC Sustainability Awards are given based on rigorous assessment which involves two stages and is an eight month long assessment with 1000 man hours dedicated to it. This results in a detailed feedback report for each participant and also helps identify successful models that are replicable. The 2013 application cycle begins in April.

Source : CII
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